My Project

The Effect of Water on Life

Please visit the link above to contribute and share.

Water is arguably the most important molecule in the universe. It’s a simple molecule that is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen. But did you know there are different types of water molecules? Every element has alternate forms known as isotopes, and hydrogen is no different. A common isotope of hydrogen, known as deuterium (D) which is twice the mass of hydrogren, can bond with oxygen to make heavy water (D2O).

Immediately after heavy water was first purified from naturally occurring water in the early 1930s, it was discovered that most organisms cannot survive in pure heavy water. It was also shown that increased (but not toxic) levels of heavy water significantly affect many systems in these same organisms, like fertility, metabolism, temperature regulation, and many more, all of which are essential for healthy organism function. Interestingly, on a cellular level the increased mass of heavy water may affect chemical processes. Not many studies have been performed in this area, unfortunately, because many experimenters ignore the effects of water even though it is by far the most abundant molecule in these experiments.

Because of the presence of deuterium in naturally occurring water, life may have evolved essential uses for deuterium. I plan to study the effects of heavy water on E. coli and S. cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). I will be growing cultures of these microbes in water with varying amounts of heavy water (from 0% to 99.9%) and comparing characteristics between the cultures, looking for effects in growth, development, appearance, and other physical differences.

I am an open notebook scientist and I’ll be making updates regarding the project in real time in my notebook (WordPress) which is publicly available. In order to further advance the research in this field, I’ll be sharing protocols, materials used, methods, raw data, and my experimental interpretations (all in real-time) openly. My notebook is search engine indexed so others may easily be able to find my work. It also features a real-time commenting system (Disqus) and I encourage any and all contributors/visitors to interact with me on the site and visit as often as possible.

Why should you contribute?

  • The experiments planned will provide a deeper understanding of how water interacts with living systems and how it has played a role in evolution.
  • The internet is riddled with claims that drinking heavy water (or conversley deuterium-depleted water) can cure cancer, obesity, and other ailments, with almost no reliable research to back up the claims. These experiments will provide much needed basic research that can either dispel or prove the rumors.
  • This study is the foundation for more complicated experiments that could shed light on specific chemical interactions and cellular functions which water impacts.
  • Funding this project will be a huge success for open science. Your contributions show the institution of science that people like you are interested in knowing exactly what is going on in labs around the world.
  • Also by funding an open access project, you are encouraging other labs to provide information openly. Together we can make scientific information accessible to everyone!

Funding will primarily go towards the purchase of heavy and deuterium-depleted water but will also go towards the purchase of supplies that will be used to grow and propogate the cultures. I will post exactly what the money is being used for as I spend it, so you will be able to see where your contribution is being used.

About RocketHub:

RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from fans for rewards from me.
It’s an All & More funding mechanism: if I don’t reach my financial goal I get to keep what I raise. But if I do reach my goal, I get access to exciting opportunities.

Do you?

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